Kathmandu, August 30:

Manufacturing production index in the fiscal year 2004-05 has registered a hopeless growth, due to a fragile industrial environment, disclosed the officials at the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), a government undertaking under the National Planning Commission (NPC).

According to the latest statistics, manufacturing production sector recorded only 2.76 per cent growth in this fiscal year, which is very low for a country like Nepal, officials at CBS showed serious concerns. “The index was prepared as per the latest census.”

The apparel sector, that carries a huge weight of about 6.59 per cent in overall manufacturing production index, has fared quite ‘badly’. Its production index has gone down to negative level by 19 per cent in the fiscal year 2004-05 against an increment by seven per cent during the last fiscal year.

The reason for negative production index of apparel sector is attributed to the removal of quota provision for Nepali apparel sector by the US. “Low confidence among the garment manufactures and exporters have already discouraged the sector for sustenance,” they said.

Similarly, on an annual basis, the growth of mustard oil production also gone down to a negative level by two per cent. However, its weight is only 1.95 per cent in the overall index. The growth rate of vegetable ghee stood at nine per cent while production of soybean oil’s rate remained at seven per cent.

Rice production index registered a growth of seven per cent while wheat flour’s growth index remained at six per cent. The growth index of tobacco products like cigarette did not see any growth.

It is discouraging that the share of manufacturing sector in the country’s GDP is about eight per cent. This figure also has registered a downward trend in this fiscal year.

Even the survey of ADB has projected that industrial sector will record a growth of only 2.4 per cent with a further slowdown.

Production index:

• Vegetables, oils and fats 7.10 per cent

• Dairy products 4 per cent

• Food products 5.66 per cent

• Beverages 2.27 per cent

• Textiles 5.73 per cent

• Apparel (Garment) 19 per cent

• Paper and paper product 6 per cent

• Casting of Metal 4 per cent

• Processed leather 5 per cent

• Chemical products 4.64 per cent